May 2018


Livingston Parish Public Schools ranks No. 2 in Louisiana for the number of high school graduates who earned a diploma with added credentials, according to the Louisiana Department of Education’s recent report on graduation rates. 

Nearly 74 percent of all high school graduates in Livingston Parish earned an Advanced or Basic credentialed diploma, according to the report.  The most recent data for the 2016-2017 school year shows that Livingston Parish students have steadily increased the strength of diplomas earned over time.  According to the latest report, 21.4 percent earned diplomas with Advanced credentials and 52.3 percent earned diplomas with Basic credentials.  Those with Advanced credentials are up considerably from the 1.7 percent who earned them in 2012-2013.

Livingston Parish also ranked No. 2 for the fewest number of graduates earning a standard diploma.  Only 12.8 percent earned a standard diploma with no additional credentials in 2016-2017.

“Our district is making steady progress in improving the level of rigor and level of achievement earned by our students,” Livingston Parish Public Schools’ Supervisor of Instruction Tracy McRae said.  “More and more of our students are finishing our system with highly regarded diplomas, earning them greater access to post-secondary career and education opportunities.”

McRae noted that Livingston Parish also recorded its highest graduation rate to date in 2016-2017.   The report showed 86.6 percent of Livingston Parish’s high school students graduated in the allotted four-year time – that’s up 3.4 percent from the previous year, which saw 83.2 percent graduate on time; and up 7 percent from the 2013-2014 school year, when 79.6 percent graduated on time.



Livingston Parish Public Schools recently recognized the district’s top Students of the Year winners in grades 5, 8 and 12, as well as those students from each of the parish’s schools. The parish’s 2018 Student of the Year winners are Emily Maranto, a senior at Live Oak High School; Carson Jones, an 8th grader at Live Oak Junior High; and Jace Griffin, a 5th grader at Live Oak Middle School.  All three winners competed in the state’s regional competition.

All those Livingston Parish students who were named 2018 Student of the Year for their respective schools include:

Pictured are the Livingston Parish 2018 High School Student of the Year winners, from left to right, (front row) Hannah Gautreau, Maurepas; Marian Luzier, Walker; Emily Maranto, Live Oak; Emily Otken, Denham Springs; Caleb Charpentier, Doyle; (back row) Haley Williams, Holden; Brennan Hagan, Albany; Alana Chandler, Springfield; and Rose Emery, French Settlement.


Pictured are the Livingston Parish 2018 Middle School Student the Year winners, from left to right, (front row) Braden McLin, Doyle; Matthew Larpenter, Springfield Middle; Lynn Cole Slaby, Denham Springs Junior High; Carson Jones, Live Oak Middle; Lauryn Shavers, Juban Parc Junior High; Brianna Daigle, Southside Junior High; Sara Waguespack, Westside Junior High; (back row) Karson Thacker, Maurepas; Madison Brignac, French Settlement; Joel Penalber, Holden; and Ilea Watson, North Corbin Junior High. Not pictured are Abrielle Ochsner, Albany Middle; and Hunter “Champ” Morales, Frost.


Pictured are the Livingston Parish 2018 Elementary Student of the Year winners, from left to right, (front row) Makayla Jarrell, Juban Parc Elementary; Zachary Jennings, Frost; Julianna Easley, South Fork Elementary; Landon Watts, Albany Middle; River Barnet, Walker Elementary; Brody Cloyd, Eastside Elementary; Adryanna Arledge, North Corbin Elementary; Jace Griffin, Live Oak Middle; Sadie Gallman, Levi Milton Elementary; Vivian Pierce, Denham Springs Elementary; Hannah Hamilton, Lewis Vincent Elementary; Sydney Kinchen, Springfield Middle; Gabrielle Harris, Southside Elementary; (back row) MacKenzie Hutson, Maurepas; Rhett Pitarro, South Walker Elementary; Sawyer Herring, Holden; Cecilia McMaster, Northside Elementary; Anna Gelpi, Freshwater Elementary; John Geiger, French Settlement Elementary; Easton Benesta, Doyle Elementary; Kellie Laporte, Gray’s Creek Elementary; Chelsea Bellony Ho A Sim, Seventh Ward Elementary; and Berenice Chavez, Eastside Elementary.



Livingston Parish Public Schools recognized the district’s top principals and teachers for the 2017-2018 school year, as well as the Teacher of the Year nominees from each school in the parish.

Pictured are the 2019 Livingston Parish Teacher of the Year winners, from left to right:  High School Teacher of the Year Jessica Bonura, Live Oak High School; Middle School Teacher of the Year Kimberly LeJeune, Live Oak Middle School; and Elementary Teacher of the Year Dane’ Long, Live Oak Elementary School. Long is also a semi-finalist for the 2019 State Teacher of the Year, which will be announced at a special ceremony in Baton Rouge on July 27.

Pictured are the 2019 Livingston Parish Principal of the Year winners, from left to right: Middle School Principal of the Year Carolyn Vosburg, North Corbin Junior High School; High School Principal of the Year Jason St. Pierre, Walker High School; and Elementary Teacher of the Year Melissa Dougherty, Gray’s Creek Elementary.


All teachers honored at this year’s ceremony include:

LPPS Elementary Teacher of the Year nominees: Gabby Mire, Albany Lower Elementary; Karen Faust, Albany Upper Elementary; Kris Kleinpeter, Denham Springs Elementary; Taffy Sexton, Doyle Elementary; Judy Carr, Eastside Elementary; Jessica Boudreaux, French Settlement Elementary; Jeanette Milne, Freshwater Elementary; Amanda Naquin, Frost; Dana Fontenot,  Gray’s Creek Elementary; Haley Mercante, Holden; Kelli Lowery,  Juban Parc  Elementary; Shay McDaniel, Levi Milton Elementary; Tara Schwartz, Lewis Vincent Elementary; Dane’ Long, Live Oak Elementary; Kristi Lemoine, North Corbin Elementary; Allison Richardson, North Live Oak Elementary; Kelly Chevalier, Northside Elementary; Kayla Wales, Seventh Ward Elementary; Laurie Petty, South Fork  Elementary; Meghan Flores, South Live Oak Elementary; Leah Richard, South Walker Elementary; Donna DePaula, Springfield Elementary; Tamie McCaffery, Southside Elementary; Carissa Peters, Walker  Elementary.

LPPS Middle School Teacher of the Year nominees:  Irene Farace, Albany Middle; Amanda Brian, Denham Springs Junior High; Natasha McMorris, French Settlement High School; Krystal Hughes, Holden High; Mary Loofbourrow, Juban Parc Junior High; Pamela Myers, Live Oak Junior; Kimberly LeJeune, Live Oak Middle; Barbara McCaskill, North Corbin Junior High; Lisa Deer, Southside Junior High; Kim Kinchen, Springfield Middle; Lauri Rentz, Westside Junior High.

LPPS High School Teachers of the Year nominees:  Shellie Woodward, Albany High; Sarah Halphen, Denham Springs High; Jill Johnson, Denham Springs Freshman High; Casey Moskau, Doyle High; Mindy Bailey, Holden High; Jessica Bonura, Live Oak High; Ann Mullis, Maurepas High; Aimee Freeman, Springfield High; Karen Davenport, Walker Freshman High; Brooke Rhymes, Walker High.



The Denham Springs High School Band participated in the state’s first United Sound® performance during its May 8 spring Wind Ensemble concert, featuring the musical talent of four local students with special needs.

United Sound® is a school-based instrumental music club for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their typical peers.  Band Director Andrew Hunter learned about the program in December at conference in Chicago, and returned to the campus with a passion to begin a local chapter.

“We are so proud that Denham Springs High School is the first in Louisiana to create an inclusive musical learning environment through this program,” Hunter said.

Making their debut performance with the high school band were Kassi Rice on the flute, Brandon Smith on the euphonium, Christel Dugas on the trumpet, and Alexis Archer on the marimba.  They were assisted in the performance of “Procession of Heroes” by their peer mentors.

The students began their instruction in February, meeting once a week with instructors and the peer mentors to learn how to take instruments out of their cases, make their first sounds, play notes while reading music and playing the piece they performed at the concert.

New musician Kassi Rice plays the flute with the Denham Springs High School Wind Ensemble.  She was assisted by her peer mentors Courtlyn McFearin (left), Shelby Taylor (kneeling) and Laurel Junda (right).  Also pictured far left is band member Savannah Cecchini.