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The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday evening. Supervisor Grace Sibley introduced Evangeline Parish principal of the year, Melanie Miller of Ville Platte High School. Sibley gave a featured presentation of Evangeline Parish teachers of the year who are competing on the state level. They are: Sarah Lafleur Bergeron (elementary school); Lisa Celestine Jack (middle school); Nicholas Jagneau (high school). The scoring was so close for middle school teacher of the year, the judges made a special category for the first time for inspirational teacher of the year, and that award went to Erica Landreneau Fontenot. Sibley then presented a highlights video, a compilation of the videos submitted by the teachers of the year to compete on the state level. In other business, First Student Location Manager Hubert Mabe updated the board about school bus cameras. He said First Student examines the camera footage every 90 days and makes adjustments and repairs as needed. They are currently in the process of updating the drives and working on archiving footage. They are also updating SPED routes, giving some buses room for additional students if needed, and have adjusted arrival and departure times. School board member Sheila Joseph asked if drivers are checking the buses after dropping off children to make sure none are left on the bus. Mabe said First Student has a system in place where drivers have to go to the back of the bus to press a reset button after checking all the seats, and they have to display placards that say “Bus Empty.” Made said he also looks under the seats to make sure no children are left on the buses, and they encourage drivers to call First Student if they find sleeping children on the buses. Since school started, 5 students have been found sleeping on buses, however no children were reported left behind. In other action, the school board approved the low-price quote by Fontenot’s Asphalt Servies, LLC in the amount of $26,937.45 for paving the Chataignier Elementary School faculty parking lot. The board also approved the payment of $23,070.46 to Pat Williams Construction for additions and alterations to W.W. Stewart Elementary. Superintendent Darwin Lazard announced that Ville Platte High School now has a choir called The Singing Sensations. At the end of the meeting, Special Education Director Roxanne West announced she was leaving to obtain a similar position in Desoto Parish. She thanked the many teachers, staff and board members for their support throughout the years. West said, “It is the support of my family and prayers answered from God that has allowed me to do this, but I do thank you all so much for the years I’ve been here. I know the district is going to continue to do great things under the leadership of Mr. Lazard and the rest of the staff.” Lazard announced the new Director is Kelly Lafleur. He called West and Lafleur “the Dynamic Duo of Special Ed.” Lafleur tearfully thanked West for all of her hard work and accomplishments saying, “I’m hoping to continue with the road that she has paved for us and I think that special education is going to continue to grow and flourish.”

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