East Feliciana public schools are on the move, and the proof is in more than new Superintendent Carlos Sam’s neon running shoes, according to school system employees.

The school system provided that proof during the district’s annual convocation for all employees Aug. 3

Sam talked about the system’s mission: “Moving from good to great, excellence is the standard.”

“This district is a hidden gem,” said Sam. “We are primed for success to become Louisiana’s premier rural school district. It is my expectation that we will be moving forward with increased student achievement and enhanced customer service. We will operate with a spirit of excellence in all that we do to serve our students, our administrators, our staff and our community.”

And those running shoes? Sam, whose father was a track star, reminded the East Feliciana team that these efforts of the school system will only be successful if all employees see themselves as part of a track team, where individual stars each bring their talents to the table in order to help the team win.

Runners may compete in individual events, Sam said, but it takes a team effort to win a track meet.

Among those stars highlighted at the event were the East Feliciana Middle School Student of the Year, who provided the welcome address and spoke regarding the important role that teachers play in the lives of students, and the Slaughter Elementary School Student of the Year, who led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

District staff also recognized each school’s Teacher of the Year and Student of the Year during the ceremony.

Fairest Hill, an international motivational speaker and recording artist from Tampa Bay, Florida, provided a high-energy keynote address.

“Even on your worst day, you are some child’s best hope,” said Hill.

East Feliciana Public School’s progress continued to be on display at the district’s monthly School Board meeting Aug. 4

During the meeting, the board recognized East Feliciana High School students who participated in “AHEC of a Summer,” a summer health care career exploration program in West Feliciana Parish.

Also earning recognition at the board meeting were district elementary students who participated in the National Junior Olympics in Jacksonville, Florida.

Sam also introduced his executive leadership team, a group of leaders he has tasked with helping schools meet the district’s standards of excellence.

They include Kim Germany, executive director of School Improvement and Instructional Services; Keisha Netterville, executive director of Human Resources and Business Services; Knight Roddy, director of Federal Programs; Latrice Smith, director of Exceptional Student Services; DeShonda Coleman, supervisor of Ancillary and Instructional Support Services; and James Bell, supervisor of operations.

He also introduced the principals and assistant principals of each of the district’s schools, including Principal Thelamese Porter and Assistant Principal Tongia Sanders of Clinton Elementary School; Principal Megan Phillips and Assistant Principal Jonathan Loveall of Jackson Elementary School; Principal Kim Glascock and Assistant Principal Jonathan Coats of Slaughter Elementary School; Principal Laron McCurry and Assistant Principal Victoria McMullen Dunn of East Feliciana Middle School; Principal Dr. Curt Green and Assistant Principal Shawona Ross of East Feliciana High School; and Principal Ella Philson of East Feliciana Enrichment Academy.

During the meeting, Sam also recognized system retirees who helped make substantial improvements during their years of service. Those retirees included Edna Thomas, 37 years of service; Wilbert Green, 32 years of service; Martha Cole, 28 years of service; Irma Jones, 17 years of service; Albert Ferguson, 34 years of service; Jamie Miller, 36.5 years of service; Sue Stewart, 27 years of service; Leola Bell, 22 years of service; Brenda Slavin, 28 years of service; Martha Davis, 33 years of service; and Ella Mae Williams, 43 years of service.

Also at the meeting, a 10-grader from the community, Jackson Lions Club President Jim Parker, and Pelican State Credit Union Branch Manager Katherine Scales each presented donations to Jackson Elementary School for school supplies.

Sam also announced at the meeting his plan to host listening tours throughout the parish, tentatively set for August, September and October. To provide feedback and learn how you to participate, visit efschools.net or email DeShonda Coleman at dcoleman@efschools.net.