Education department selects ten SWLA educators for advisory committees

It does not stop with the controversial education reform just passed by the state legislature. More changes are coming to Louisiana schools, all part of the Louisiana believes program.

Educators from across the state will have their say in those changes.

Superintendent John White formed three Louisiana Believes Advisory committees to offer educators a chance to share input regarding implementation of the wide ranging reforms. There's one for teachers, principals and superintendents. And with over 70 teachers statewide welcomed to the committees, there's plenty of room for differing opinions.

"I think that it's probably something he wanted to do, but I think it was purposeful that it wasn't done until after the bills were passed," said Jeff Davis Parish teacher Cassidy Juneau.

That's how Juneau, a teacher at Lacassine High, feels about the new committees implemented by Superintendent White. Juneau applied to be on the board after hearing about it through a Department of Education newsletter.

"I think it's important that everybody's opinions are welcomed on an advisory committee, not just those who support the bills, not just those who didn't support the bills," said Juneau.  

White says the committees will allow superintendents, principals and teachers a chance to experience the change first hand.

"People want change, but they want to be a part of it," said Superintendent White. "People want change, but they want to know what the change is and they and they want to inform it. We've taken big strides towards doing that."

Ten southwest Louisiana teachers make up part of the 78 member teacher committee. S. J. Welsh teacher Michelle LeBlanc is one of them.

"I think that this advisory committee provides a voice for teachers across the state, not only for teachers but for administrators and other district representatives to be a part of what is taking place," said LeBlanc. "The changes that we're seeing in education that are in fact necessary and needed in order to support student achievement."

White says the education reform is a matter of trust.

"If you're going to believe that kids can achieve more, then you've got to believe that the adults that know them and love them are the ones that are capable of helping them the most," said Superintendent White.

Juneau is a fairly new teacher, having been in the classroom around six years. But after Monday's welcoming meeting, he still has concerns with the Louisiana Believes Plan.

"In some part it was good to hear that positive things will be happening but in another part, I feel like it was a lot of the same things that I've heard in the past over and over," said Juneau. 

There are also two administrators on the Principal Committee: Dr. Ina Delahoussaye from Calcasieu Parish and Mia Orgeron from Lake Arthur Elementary.

Calcasieu Parish Superintendent Wayne Savoy is one of thirteen on the Superintendent Committee.

On the teacher committee, Vicky Broussard, Donna Little, Lorri Caldwell, and Michelle brown will join LeBlanc in representing Calcasieu Parish. Cornella Hebert represent Jeff Davis Parish with Juneau.

A fourth committee is in the works of parents and community members. The public is encouraged to apply.

Fore more details on the Louisiana Believes Plan and the Committees visit the links page and select 'Louisiana Department of Education.'

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