February 2018


Lauren Kennedy, 2017-2018 nominee for Life Changer of the Year Award

Eastside Elementary Assistant Principal Lauren Kennedy is a nominee for the 2017-2018 Life Changer of the Year Award for the positive impact she has made in the lives of her faculty, staff, and students.

Life Changer of the Year is a prestigious awards program that recognizes K-12 educators and school employees across the nation who make a significant difference in the lives of others by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. The winner and top finalists receive a generous cash award for themselves and their school districts.

Kennedy is credited with organizing flood relief efforts for her school’s community following the August 2016 flood. Like most people in the area, Kennedy wanted to do what she could to help.  But what made Kennedy standout was her experience dealing with flood recovery, her leadership skills to organize and motivate people to do important tasks, and her loving heart and fierce faith-based determination to bring hope to those around her.

“Lauren will tell you that she feels like she’s not done anything special to receive this nomination, but the difference between Lauren and others is that she displays her kindness and helpfulness everyday! She thinks nothing of it, because it’s just a part of who she is,” Eastside Elementary Principal Kelly LaBauve said.

“When the 2016 flood devastated so many in our school family, she stepped up and turned our campus into a distribution center for our affected families,” LaBauve said. “And when our employees need someone to turn to, it’s Lauren you see them pull aside for counseling or prayer.  When our students are struggling or they just need someone to pick them up, Lauren has a special way of connecting with them.”

Kennedy is competing against more than 850 people from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The finalists and overall winner are expected to be announced in March.



Students at Walker High School listen to a video presentation from money management expert Dave Ramsey during a class lesson in the Foundations in Personal Finance class.

Students at Walker High School are getting important lessons in how to better manage money, thanks to a popular new course elective on the campus that’s being taught by one of the world’s most renowned personal finance experts.

The course, Foundations in Personal Finance, is the creation of financial consultant Dave Ramsey, who developed an easy to use, turnkey school curriculum that teaches students the value of saving, spending and giving them guidance down the path of financial literacy. Ramsey delivers the course lectures, which are designed for high school students, through a series of videos, printed lessons and activities.  The course meets the standards and benchmarks in Louisiana as an accredited course.

“Knowing how to manage money is a lifelong skill that every person should know. We believe that having a healthy understanding of money better prepares our students to make smart financial decisions in life,” said Walker High School Principal Jason St. Pierre.

St. Pierre said the Foundations in Personal Finance elective was made possible through a donation from local members of the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce.



Frost Elementary is serving as a testing ground for a bus tracking application that allows parents to follow their child’s ride.

Transportation Director Jeff Frizell said GPS trackers have been installed on four buses that serve the K-8 school. For the next month, the trackers will show parents and district administrators where the buses are in real time.  By knowing if the bus is running late or quickly approaching their child’s pick-up stop, parents can better adjust their schedules to meet the bus.  At the same time, the application can help to track if a driver is speeding or making harsh turns.

Frizell said the pilot will help to determine if the application is worth rolling out
parishwide. The cost to implement the technology parishwide would be $118,000 per year.  The technology is already in use in East Baton Rouge and Tangipahoa parishes.



Doyle High School Freshman Christopher Merrell, left, receives a snack packet from Livingston Parish Public Schools’ Child Nutrition Assistant Director Sommer Purvis at the parish library in Livingston. Merrell said he learned about the Feeding Young Minds program from a classmate last fall and started coming in late September. Since then, he, his brother and several friends participate in the program every Wednesday after school.

Livingston Parish School System is partnering with the Livingston Parish Library System and Mighty Moms, a local volunteer organization, to support the after-school program, Feeding Young Minds. The program provides students with a free snack and drink and a safe haven to get homework done or take part in educational programs.

“Our district is actively seeking ways to reach outside our schools, beyond our campus boundaries and into our communities to positively impact our students,” Sommer Purvis, assistant director of child nutrition, said. “Our goal is to ensure all our students have an opportunity to learn and develop in a safe environment. The Feeding Young Minds program allows us to utilize existing resources to do just that.”

Purvis said the program utilizes all five libraries in the parish and serves as many as 100 students each week. Assistant principals, counselors and librarians across the parish help to staff sessions at the library closest to their schools.

“It’s an opportunity to socialize with students and their parents and connect with them in a meaningful way,” said Juban Parc Assistant Principal Justin Wax, who serves as a volunteer board member for Mighty Moms. “We are already starting to see better established relationships between with these kids and their families.”



Megan Mincey, right, is pictured with the LSU Agriculture Center’s Associate Vice President Dr. Phil Elzer, as she is awarded the 2018 Senior Showmanship Champion Award at this month’s State Livestock Show at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales.

Denham Springs High School Senior Megan Mincey recently won the Overall Senior Showmanship Champion Award and top awards in the Dairy and Beef categories of the 2018 LSU AgCenter State Livestock Show, which was held earlier this month at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. Mincey’s Jersey cow outscored all other dairy cows, earning her the Supreme Champion Dairy Female.  Her beef cow also bested all others in the All Other Breeds Class in the Beef Division to earn Reserve Grand Champion AOB.  Other awards included first place in showmanship in Dairy and two first place awards in the Jersey Class.

Mincey is president of the Future Farmers of America Club and vice president of the 4H Club at Denham Springs High. She has been competitively showing livestock for the past seven years.  Mincey plans to attend LSU in the fall and major in animal science.