June 2017


The district recently recognized its top Teachers of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year. The winners received a certificate, flower bouquet and gift from Superintendent Rick Wentzel and representatives of Dream Teachers, a statewide organization that rewards educators who model instructional excellence and dedication.  A top teacher from each category was selected to compete at the state’s regional level.

The High School Teachers of the Year winners included Shellie Woodward, Albany High; Elizabeth Hart, Denham Springs High; Edith Cutrer, Doyle High; Josh Burton, Holden High; Brett Beard, Live Oak High; Carol Tate, Springfield High; Brandi Hoch, Walker Freshman; and Melinda Joelle Bourgeois, Walker High.

The Middle School Teachers of the Year winners were Casey Foster, Albany Middle; Mandy McCann, Denham Springs Junior High; Jodi Herring, Holden High; Eva Glasscock, Juban Parc Junior High; Tabatha Walker, Live Oak Middle; Melissa Anderson, Maurepas; Karen Deel, North Corbin Junior High; Jason Vidaurre, Southside Junior High; Danielle Richardson, Springfield Middle; and David Will, Westside Junior High.

The Elementary Teachers of the Year winners were Scarlett Smith, Albany Lower Elementary; Melyssa DePaula, Albany Upper Elementary; Heather Kuhlman, Denham Springs Elementary; Stacy Perrone, Doyle Elementary; Nicole Yates, Eastside Elementary; Kati Holt, French Settlement Elementary; Karen Pourciau, Freshwater Elementary; April Blanchard, Frost; Debra Held, Gray’s Creek Elementary; Annie Bigner, Holden; Sarah McCrary, Juban Parc  Elementary; Jennifer Berry, Levi Milton Elementary; Sunnie Glover, Lewis Vincent Elementary; Eva Mizell, Live Oak Elementary; Joelle Shelton, North Corbin Elementary; Tonya Dean, North Live Oak Elementary;  Amy Frizell, Northside Elementary; Karly Robertson, Seventh Ward Elementary; Annette Marrs, South Fork  Elementary; Kristy Baker, South Live Oak Elementary; Elizabeth King, South Walker Elementary; Stephanie Cronan, Springfield Elementary; Julie Freneaux, Southside Elementary; and Patricia Underwood, Walker  Elementary.

The 2017 Livingston Parish Teacher of the Year winners, from left to right, are: Elementary School Teacher of the Year Karen Pourciau, Freshwater Elementary; Middle School Teacher of the Year, Jodi Herring, Holden; and High School Teacher of the Year, Elizabeth Hart, Denham Springs High School.




The district also recognized the Principal of the Year winners for the 2016-2017 school year, including the parish’s Elementary School Principal of the Year Shanna Steed, who advanced to be a semi-finalist for the state’s top award.

Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy noted that each of the winners managed campuses that took in another school in the aftermath of the flooding in August 2016.

“I can’t say ‘Thank You’ enough to these principals and what they mean to me and this school system. We could not have opened just 20 days after the devastating flood hit our parish had they not been willing to open up their campuses and do everything they did to accommodate our needs,” Murphy said.

The 2017 Livingston Parish Principal of the Year winners are, pictured left to right: High School Principal of Year Beth Jones, Live Oak High School; Middle School Principal of the Year Dwayne Dykes, Springfield Middle School; and Elementary School Principal of the Year Shanna Steed, Juban Parc Elementary.





Karen Parrino, North Live Oak Elementary Teacher

North Live Oak Elementary kindergarten teacher Karen Parrino has been named the Agriculture in the Classroom Elementary Teacher of the Year for Louisiana. The award recognizes outstanding efforts in integrating agriculture across the curriculum.

Parrino will enjoy an expense-paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference this month in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as a $500 cash award and iPad.

“One of my goals is to blend science and agriculture into the general learning experience. I want my students to become excited about the environment around them. Exposing them to real experiences will leave an impression that will probably stay with them for life,” Parrino said.



The Denham Springs High School Wind Ensemble is one of only six bands in the nation that will perform in the Inaugural Cleveland Orchestra/Baldwin Wallace Conservatory International Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City next February.

Fifty-five local students will make the trip. They are scheduled to perform on the 126-year-old Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on Feb. 12, 2018, including participating with members of the other five bands for a premier 8 p.m. concert.

The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, which is a liberal arts-based and Methodist-affiliated college located just outside of Cleveland, is sponsoring the concert.

Denham Springs High School Band Director Andrew Hunter leads rehearsal. The band’s wind ensemble will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City in February 2018. (Photo Courtesy of Livingston Parish News)



Mac Sceroler

Former Denham Springs High School baseball standout Mac Sceroler has been selected as the 137th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.  The right-handed pitching ace will forego his senior year at Southeastern Louisiana University to play professional baseball with the Reds.   Sceroler went 9-2 this season with a 3.81 ERA, leading the SLU Lions to a NCAA Tournament appearance.  He is the nephew of former MLB pitcher and LSU Hall of Fame player Ben McDonald.  His mother, Pasha McDonald Sceroler, is a school counselor at Southside Elementary.